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Singapore's Education System - How It Ranks Globally

by Ace Tutors (4901 views)
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How has Singapore fared relative to the world in terms of our education, after all the effort that has been put into tuition and into improving the public school system? In a 2009 international study which compares the education systems of 65 countries, Singapore places in the top 5 on the 3 scales of assessment: Reading, Mathematics and Science.

Surprisingly, Singapore is placed 5th on the reading scale, despite the ubiquity of Singlish that plagues our environment. On the Mathematics and Science scale, Singapore is placed 2nd and 4th respectively. It seems that our investment in education over the years has not gone to waste. Other countries that dominate the top spots include Shanghai, South Korea, Hong Kong and Finland.

The Asian countries listed are well known for their academic rigour that students are put through, and the effort poured in is fortunately not fruitless. Finland is reported to take a more relaxed approach in schools and they base learning primarily on trust. Childcare, pre-school services and basic education is free up to the age of 16. Students are not streamed until the age of 16, unlike the case in Singapore where the PSLE is held. More interestingly, there are no gifted programs in Finland up to secondary school; the more able children are expected to help those who are slower to catch on.

  Reading scale Mathematics scale Science Scale
Rank Country Scale   Country Scale   Country Scale
1 Shanghai 556   Shanghai 600   Shanghai 575
2 Korea 539   Singapore 562   Finland 554
3 Finland 536   Hong Kong 555   Hong Kong 549
4 Hong Kong 533   Korea 546   Singapore 542
5 Singapore 526   Chinese Taipei 543   Japan 539
6 Canada 524   Finland 541   Korea 538
7 New Zealand 521   Liechtenstein 536   New Zealand 532
8 Japan 520   Switzerland 534   Canada 529
9 Australia 515   Japan 529   Estonia 528
10 Netherlands 508   Canada 527   Australia 527
11 Belgium 506   Netherlands 526   Netherlands 522
12 Norway 503   Macao-China 525   Liechtenstein 520
13 Estonia 501   New Zealand 519   Germany 520
14 Switzerland 501   Belgium 515   Chinese Taipei 520
15 Poland 500   Australia 514   Switzerland 517
16 Iceland 500   Germany 513   United Kingdom 514
17 United States 500   Estonia 512   Slovenia 512
18 Liechtenstein 499   Iceland 507   Macao-China 511
19 Sweden 497   Denmark 503   Poland 508
20 Germany 497   Slovenia 501   Ireland 508
21 Ireland 496   Norway 498   Belgium 507
22 France 496   France 497   Hungary 503
23 Chinese Taipei 495   Slovak Republic 497   United States 502
24 Denmark 495   Austria 496   Norway 500
25 United Kingdom 494   Poland 495   Czech Republic 500
26 Hungary 494   Sweden 494   Denmark 499
27 Portugal 489   Czech Republic 493   France 498
28 Macao-China 487   United Kingdom 492   Iceland 496
29 Italy 486   Hungary 490   Sweden 495
30 Latvia 484   Luxembourg 489   Latvia 494
31 Slovenia 483   United States 487   Austria 494
32 Greece 483   Ireland 487   Portugal 493
33 Spain 481   Portugal 487   Lithuania 491
34 Czech Republic 478   Italy 483   Slovak Republic 490
35 Slovak Republic 477   Spain 483   Italy 489
36 Croatia 476   Latvia 482   Spain 488
37 Israel 474   Lithuania 477   Croatia 486
38 Luxembourg 472   Russian Federation 468   Luxembourg 484
39 Austria 470   Greece 466   Russian Federation 478
40 Lithuania 468   Croatia 460   Greece 470
41 Turkey 464   Dubai (UAE) 453   Dubai (UAE) 466
42 Dubai (UAE) 459   Israel 447   Israel 455
43 Russian Federation 459   Turkey 445   Turkey 454
44 Chile 449   Serbia 442   Chile 447
45 Serbia 442   Azerbaijan 431   Serbia 443
46 Bulgaria 429   Bulgaria 428   Bulgaria 439
47 Uruguay 426   Uruguay 427   Romania 428
48 Mexico 425   Romania 427   Uruguay 427
49 Romania 424   Chile 421   Thailand 425
50 Thailand 421   Mexico 419   Mexico 416
51 Trinidad and Tobago 416   Thailand 419   Jordan 415
52 Colombia 413   Trinidad and Tobago 414   Trinidad and Tobago 410
53 Brazil 412   Kazakhstan 405   Brazil 405
54 Montenegro 408   Montenegro 403   Colombia 402
55 Jordan 405   Argentina 388   Montenegro 401
56 Tunisia 404   Jordan 387   Tunisia 401
57 Indonesia 402   Brazil 386   Argentina 401
58 Argentina 398   Colombia 381   Kazakhstan 400
59 Kazakhstan 390   Albania 377   Albania 391
60 Albania 385   Tunisia 371   Indonesia 383
61 Qatar 372   Indonesia 371   Qatar 379
62 Panama 371   Qatar 368   Panama 376
63 Peru 370   Peru 365   Azerbaijan 373
64 Azerbaijan 362   Panama 360   Peru 369
65 Kyrgyzstan 314   Kyrgyzstan 331   Kyrgyzstan 330

Shanghai tops the table in every category; leading the pack by large margins. With such outstanding proficiency in Mathematics and Science, we could expect to see China leading the world on the technological front in the near future. The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is organised by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and is held on a triennial basis. Singapore did not participate in the latest study held in 2012. View Cool Science Videos for Tuition #3 View Secondary School Ranking 2013 View more articles